Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why No Honesty in Panhandling?

People asked me in college what I wanted to be when I ‘grew up’, and I responded without hesitation: a panhandler. They have a pretty sweet gig, with all their tax free income, being their own boss and making their own hours. I would try to work the Vietnam vet angle with a crutch or possibly wheelchair, in camouflage fatigues, but I don’t think anyone would buy it. Maybe I could go for the “down-on-her-luck-stripper”, offering pole dances for spare change. I think that ruse would work better if I had a bastard child, but I’m not willing to get knocked up to perpetuate the angle.
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It’s the lies on the signs that kind of piss me off. Like there’s this one in Uptown that has a sign that says “Homeless from Katrina, Please help a family in need.” He was smart, and misspelled a few words, because no one trusts a panhandler who is too articulate. I have never seen a family with him, but I have seen him drop off money at his car in a nearby parking lot. If he was just more honest, or at least came up with a better quality pack of lies, I could respect him more. Like the college kid who just needed money for beer. His sign said that. I gave him a dollar, because with my penchant for 7 dollar cocktails, I entirely understand not having enough money for drinks.
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In the heart of Uptown, the panhandlers are all artsy, and I appreciate that they are playing instruments or singing, because it’s as if they are trying to earn handouts. However, the quality of their music sucks, and I would much rather the crazy panhandlers that dance around and scream at the sky; THAT’S entertainment! I approve of their low-pressure techniques of “selling themselves”, because they don’t technically beg… they just sit there with a sign. It is lazy, but then again they panhandle, so I don’t expect too much of a work ethic and drive to succeed. What I don't understand is where they the money for the markers to write on the signs? If they were really hard up, they would burn the cardboard to keep warm.
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The dictionary described a hobo as one who wanders from place to place without at home, or means of livelihood. I call bullshit. In Minneapolis, under the overpass where 394 becomes 94W, they even have the hobo Hilton, where they keep their tents, shopping carts full of cans, and other important. And the panhandling on the street corner is their means and place of livelihood; listen up republicans, we can tax their asses! Just like Katrina hobo, the majority of these smelly dbags are legitimately homeless. I saw one guy with ipod wires. If he is homeless, where is he docking that? When we were out last Friday, Landon came up with the term “hobo cockblocking”, in which we would sit down next to the hobo with our own, more convincing signs and ensure he doesn’t get any money. We might not get any either, but it would definitely mess up his game. Bums are comparable to trolls, charging you money to let you pass, using their weapons of guilt and filth. Hobo Cockblocking effectively takes away their powers, and puts you back in the drivers position of the shopping cart.


Bob McHenry's Video and Other Such Nonsense said...

When I worked at a porn shop here in Seattle, there was a Pike Place market bum that had a doublesided sign, one side said "Down on luck, anything helps, god bless" and when any one who wasnt a tourist walked past he would flip the sign and it said, "need a beer and a hooker."

There was a comic effectiveness in it, but I really hated the "honesty" signs while I was mopping jizz in a porno arcade for my beer and hookers.

TED VELVET said...

homeless in minnesota doesn't sound too cushy but the bumb snowball fights and cardboard toboggan races must be hilarious

Anonymous said...

There was this bum when I lived in Florida who once carried a sign that read:


I do believe he only did that for a day before he got arrested.

Malach the Merciless said...

Wow, where did you get the picture of Palmer?

C.Rag said...

I swear I put up a comment here earlier.

Oh well I said like this:

Hobos are my best clients. They have a lot of money to throw around & all I have to do is jerk them off.

Joey Polanski said...

Any bum can get a job if he realy wants one.

Mike said...

The best panhandler's by far are in Key West Florida. They have the best stories and the best approach.

One time I offered one of them my plane ticket and told him he could go back to Michigan and take over my life if I could just take his corner and panhandle. He politely refused the offer so I gave him a dollar.

He knew he had it made.

Tequila Mockingbird said...

bob: i bet you miss your days as jizz mopper. sounds like a promising career.

Ted: they are migratory, like geese. they usually head to warmer climates for the winter. although, i have a lot of respect for the hardcore hobos that are outside during a snowstorm. sometimes i throw my coffee on them to warm them.

Prepon: did you help him out?

Malach: motherfucking magic.

C.rag: sounds like how i am with truckers.

Joey: i love bum fights. one time i saw a legitimate one, but they were only arguing over the lucrative corner, off of the freeway.

Mike: fla has quality hobos. i lived there for 21 years. i like to ask hobos for money when they ask me for money. i tell them i need it for a drink. they are never amused and i never get money.

Mr R Rabbit said...

You know what, you've inspired me. I think I've found my new career.

Anonymous said...

Hell to the no! I was afraid I'd catch something.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I've known a few folks who were on the road most of their lives. They called what you're talking about "flying a flag." Such as: "let's go down to the I-64 exit and fly a flag today."
A good buddy of mine tells about flying a flag in Vegas. He had a nice meal every evening, a motel room and enough extra for alcohol, cigarettes and pot. I said "fuck!, I spent 27 yrs working a job for that."
The best money is taking a roll of paper towels and a $1 bottle of window cleaner down to the K-Mart or Wal-Mart parking lot and offering to clean people's car windows just for some change to get to the next town "so I can check into the VA hospital," or to get to the next big city where "my brother has a job waiting for me." Really good hustlers can make over $100/day doing that racket.
Oh shit, gotta go. If they see me typing this stuff they'll kill me.

jedimacfan said...

I like the Ronald McDonald photo. The kids' expressions are just priceless.

AngryMan said...

I stopped reading at pole dance. I have about thirty bucks burning a hole in my pocket.

moooooog35 said...

I really DID need to build a Death Star. And you walking by with your bottle of Jack...

You selfish bitch.

Sara Sue said...

"Hobo Cockblocking" will be the name of my next blog.

Anonymous said...

Hobo Cockblocking....what a treasure!

In NYC they have pets, dogs mostly, a great accoutrement for the begging profession.

DigitalStatic said...

When I was in Toronto, I finally met a panhandler I had to help out... He was wearing a cardboard sign that said, "Kick a punk: $1" I gave him $10 and then we split a bottle of whiskey that I bought.

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